Search Engine Optimization (SEO) Glossary of Terms:

pancakeimpossibleInternet and Web Development

Nov 18, 2013 (5 years and 6 months ago)


Search Engine Optimization (
Glossary of Terms:

301 Redirect

A message that the URL has moved permanently. This is commonly used when a URL has a new
location and will not be appearing again at the ol
d URL.

302 Redirect

A “found” message. (Also referred to as a “temporary redirect.”) This form of redirection is
commonly used
and in some cases abused
when a URL has be
en moved to a different location; but, it will be
returning to the original location eventually.

403 Server Code

A “forbidden” message. Prevents access to a URL and displays t
he reason for preventing

Server Code

A “not found” message. Server cannot find the URL requested.
Search engines request a
file to see what portions of you
r site they are allowed to crawl. Many browsers request a

file when loading your site. While neither of these files are necessary, creating them will help keep your
clean so you can focus on whatever other errors your site might have.


A/B Testing

A/B testing, at its simplest, is randomly showing a visitor one version of a page

(A) versi
on or (B)

and tracking the changes in behavior based on which version they saw. (A) version is normally your
existing design (“control” in statistics lingo); and (B) version is the “challenger” with one copy or design element
changed. In a “50/50
A/B split test,” you’re flipping a coin to decide which version of a page to show. A classic
example would be comparing conversions resulting from serving either version (A) or (B), where the versions
display different headlines. A/B tests are commonly ap
plied to clicked
on ad copy and landing page copy or
designs to determine which version drives the more desired result. See also
Multivariate Testing

Above the Fold

A te
rm traditionally used to describe the top portion of a newspaper. In email or web
marketing it means the area of content viewable prior to scrolling. Some people also define above the fold as
an ad location at the very top of the screen, but due to
banner blindness
typical ad locations do not perform
as well as ads that are well integrated into content. If ads look like content they typically perform much

Absolute Link

A link which shows the full URL of the page being linked at. Some links only show relative
link paths instead of having the entire reference URL within the a href ta
g. Due to
related issues it is typically preferred to use absolute li
nks over relative links.

Absolute URL’s Link

Absolute URLs use the full
path address, such as
(See also Relative URL’s link.)

Acquisition Strategy

A process of finding those potential customers who are in the market and
ready to buy.
The attempt to lead customers to a web site and to welcome them, answer their questions and close the sale.


Advertisements a searcher sees after submitting a query in a search engine or web site search box. In PPC,
these ads are usually
text format, with a Title, Description and Display URL. In some cases, a keyword the
searcher used in his or her query appears boldfaced in the displayed ad. Ads can be positioned anywhere on a
search results page; commonly they appear at the top

the natural or organic listings

and on the right
side of the page, also known as “Right Rail.”

Ad Copy

The main text of a clickable search or context
served ad. It usually makes up the second and third
lines of a displayed ad, between the Ad Title and
the Display URL.

Ad Title

The first line of text displayed in a clickable search or context
served ad. Ad Titles serve as ad


Microsoft's cost per click ad netwo
rk. While it has a few cool features (including dayparting and
demographic based bidding) it is still quite nascent in nature compared to
Google AdWords
. Due to Microsoft's
limited marke
tshare and program newness many terms are vastly underpriced and present a great arbitrage


contextual advertising
network. Publishers large and small may automatically publish
relevant advertisements near their content and share the profits from those ad clicks with Google. AdSense
offers a highly scalable a
utomated ad revenue stream which will help some publishers establish a baseline for
the value of their ad inventory. In many cases AdSense will be underpriced, but that is the trade off for
automating ad sales. AdSense ad auction formats include:
cost per click

advertisers are only charged when
ads are clicked on;

advertisers are charged a certain amount p
er ad impression. Advertisers can target
sites based on keyword, category, or demographic information.


Google's advertisement and link auction network. Most of Google's ads a
targeted and
sold on a
cost per click
basis in an auction which factors in ad
clickthrough rate
as well as max bid. Google is
looking into expanding their ad network to include video ads,
demographic targeting
affiliate ads
, radio ads,
and traditional print ads. AdWords is an increasingly complex marketplace. One could write a 300 page book
just covering AdWords. Rather than doing that
here I thought it would be useful to link to many relevant

Affiliate Marketing

Affiliate marketing is a process of revenue sharing that allows merchants to duplicate sales
efforts by enlisting other web sites as a type of outside sales force.
Successful affiliate marketing programs result
in the merchant attracting additional buyers, and the affiliate earning the equivalent of a referral fee, based on
through referrals to the merchant site.


Some social networks or search systems may take site age, page age, user account age, and related
historical data into account when determining how much to trust that person, website, or document. Some
specialty search engines, like bl
og search engines, may also boost the relevancy of new documents.


Asynchronous JavaScript and XML
is a technique which allows a web page to request additional
data from a server witho
ut requiring a new page to load.

owned search service which measures website traffic. Alexa is heavily
biased toward
sites that focus on marketing and webmaster communities. While not being highly accurate it is free.


A set of rules that a search engine uses to rank listings in response to a query. Search engines
guard their algorithms closely,
as they are the unique formulas used to determine relevancy. Algorithms are
sometimes referred to as the ”secret sauce.”


Search engine which was created by Fast, then bo
ught by
, which was bought by
. Yahoo may use AllTheWeb as a test bed for new search technologies and fea

Alt Attribute

Blind people and most major search engines are not able to easily distinguish what is in an
image. Using an image alt attribute allows you to help scr
een readers and search engines understand the
function of an image by providing a text equivalent for the object.

ALT Text

Also known as
alternative text or alt attribute
. An HTML tag (ALT tag) used to provide images with a
text description in the event
images are turned off in a web browser. The images text description is usually visible
while “hovering” over the image. This tag is also important for the web access of the visually impaired.


Search engine bought out by
prior to Overture being bought by
. AltaVista was an
early powerhouse in search, but on October 25, 1999 they did a major algorithmic update which caused them
to dump many websites. Ultimately that update and brand mismanagement drove themselves toward
irrelevancy and a loss of mindshare and marketshare.


Software which allows you to track your page views, user paths, and conversion statistics based upon
interpreting your log files or through including a JavaScript tracking
code on your site. Ad networks are a
game of margins. Marketers who track user action will have a distinct advantage over those who do not.

Anchor Text

The text that a user
would click on to follow a link. In the case the link is an image the image
alt attribute
may act in the place of anchor text. Search engines assume that your page is authori
tative for the
words that people include in links pointing at your site. When links occur naturally they typically have a wide
array of anchor text combinations. Too much similar anchor text may be a considered a sign of manipulation,
and thus discounted o
r filtered. Make sure when you are building links that you control that you try to mix up
your anchor text.


Acronym for Application Programming Interface. This is a program that advertisers create to manage their
SEM campaigns, bypassing the search
engines’ interfaces.


A practice through which web publishers

second tier search engines, directories and vertical search

engage in the buying and reselling of web traffic. Typically, arbitrage occurs when such publishers pool
budgets to engage in PPC campaigns on Tier I search engines (Google, Yahoo!, MSN). If the publishers
pay $0.10 per click for traffic, they typically resell those visitors to clients who bid $0.20 or more for the same
keywords. Successful arbitrage require
s that the arbitrageur must pay less per click than what the traffic sells for.
The variation called Affiliate Arbitrage involves a web site owner or blogger bidding on keywords from programs
such as Yahoo! Search Marketing or Google AdWords, who then link
s the ads, either to their own web site, or
directly to a merchant site displaying ads (from programs such as the Yahoo! Publisher Network or Google


Active Server Pages

a dynam
ic Microsoft programming language.


Ask is a search engine owned by InterActive Corp. They were originally named Ask Jeeves, but they
dumped Jeeves in early 2006. Their search engine is po
wered by the
search technology, which is
largely reliant upon
's concept of




The most popular type of PPC bidding. First, an advertiser determines what maximum
amount per
click they are willing to spend for a keyword. If there is no competition for that keyword, the advertiser
pays their bid, or less, for every click. If there is competition at auction for that keyword, then the advertiser with
the highest bid will pay one
penny more than their nearest competitor. For example, advertiser A is willing to bid
up to $0.50; advertiser B is willing to bid up to $0.75. If advertiser A’s actual bid is $0.23, then advertiser B will
only pay $0.24 per click. Also referred to as mark
et or competition
driven bidding.


The ability of a page or domain to rank well in search engines. Five large factors associated with
site and page authority are
link equity
, site
, traffic trends, site history, and publishing unique original
quality content
. Search engines constantly tweak their algorithms to try to balance relevancy algorithms based
on topical authority and overall authority across the entire web. Sites may be considered topical aut
horities or
general authorities. For example,
are considered broad general authority sites. This si
is a topical authority on SEO, but not a broad general authority.

Automated Bid Management Software

Pay per click search engines are growing increasingly complex in
their offerings. To help large advertisers cope with the increasing sophistication and complexity of these
offerings some search engines and third party software developers have created software which makes it
easier to control your ad spend. Some of the m
ore advanced tools can integrate with your
analytics programs

and help you focus on
, and
earnings elasticity
instead of just looking at cost per click. If you
want to program internal bid ma
nagement software you can get a developer token to use the
Google AdWords



Search engines identify which ad for an individual advertiser demonstrates the
highest CTR (click
hrough rate) as time progresses, and then optimizes the ad serve, showing that ad more often
than other ads in the same Ad Group/Ad Order.



All the links pointing at a particular web page. Also called
inbound links or incoming links


lso known as
. Refers to a punitive action imposed by a search engine in response to being
spammed. Can be an IP address of a specific URL

Baseline Metrics

lagged calculations (usually averages of one sort or another) which provide a basis
making comparisons of past performance to current performance. Baselines can also be forward
looking, such
establishing a goal and seeking to determine whether the trends show the likelihood of meeting that goal. They
become an essential piece of a Key
Performance Indicator (KPI).

Behavioral Targeting

Ad targeting based on past recent experience and/or implied intent. For example, if I
recently searched for
mortgages then am later reading a book review the page may still show me mortgage

Behavioral Targeting

The practice of targeting and serving ads to groups of people who exhibit similarities not
only in their location, gender or age, but also in ho
w they act and react in their online environment. Behaviors
tracked and targeted include web site topic areas they frequently visit or subscribe to; subjects or content or
shopping categories for which they have registered, profiled themselves or requested
automatic updates and
information, etc.


A prejudice based on experiences or a particular worldview.

Any media channel, publishing format, organization, or person is biased by

how and wh
y they were created and their own experiences

the current set of social standards in which they exist

other markets they operate in

the need for self preservation

how they interface with the world around them

their capital, knowledge, status, or technol
ogical advantages and limitations

Search engines aim to be relevant to users, but they also need to be profitable. Since search engines sell
commercial ads some of the largest search engines may bias their
organic search results
toward informational
(ie: non
commercial) websites. Some search engines are also biased toward information which has been
published online for a great deal of time and is heavily cit

Search personalization
biases our search results based on our own media consumption and searching habits.

Large news organizations tend to aim for widely acceptable n
eutrality rather than objectivity. Some of the
most popular individual web authors / publishers tend to be quite biased in nature. Rather than bias hurting
one's exposure

The known / learned bias of a specific author may make their news more appealing than
news from an
organization that aimed to seem arbitrarily neutral.

I believe biased channels most likely typically have a larger readership than unbiased channels.

Most people prefer to subscribe to media which matches their own biases worldview.

If more
people read what you write and passionately agree with it then they are more likely to link at

Things which are biased in nature are typically easier to be cited than things which are unbiased.


The maximum amount of money that an advertiser is w
illing to pay each time a searcher clicks on an ad.
Bid prices can vary widely depending on competition from other advertisers and keyword popularity.

Bid Boosting

A form of automated bid management that allows you to increase your bids when ads are serv
to someone whose age or gender matches your target market. This level of demographic focus and the “bid
boosting” tool are current Microsoft adCenter offerings.

Bid Management Software
Automated Bid Management Software

Bid Management Software

Software that manages PPC campaigns automatically, called either rules
(with triggering rules or conditions set by the advertiser) or intelligent software (enacting re
time adjustments
based on tracked conversions and competitor actions). Both types of automatic bid management programs
monitor and change bid prices, pause campaigns, manage budget maximums, adjust multiple keyword bids
based on CTR, position ranking an
d more.

Black Box Algorithms

Black box
is technical jargon for a when system is viewed primarily in terms of input and
output characteristics. A
black box algorithm
is one where the user cannot see the inner workings of the
algorithm. All search engine a
lgorithms are hidden.

black hat
Search engine optimization tactics that are counter to best practices such as the Google
Webmaster Guidelines.

Black Hat SEO

Search engines se
t up guidelines that help them extract billions of dollars of ad revenue from the work
of publishers and the attention of searchers. Within that highly profitable framework search engines
consider certain marketing techniques deceptive in nature, and label
them as black hat SEO. Those
which are considered within their guidelines are called white hat SEO techniques. The search
guidelines are not a static set of rules, and things that may be considered legitimate one day may be
considered deceptive the next.

Search engines are not without flaws in their business models, but there is nothing immoral or illegal about
testing search algorithms to understand how search engines work.

People who have extensively tested search algorithms are probably more competent a
nd more knowledgeable
search marketers than those who give themselves the arbitrary label of
white hat SEOs
while calling others
black hat SEOs.

When making large investment
s in processes that are not entirely clear trust is important. Rather than looking
for reasons to not work with an SEO it is best to look for signs of trust in a person you would like to work with.


A list of Web sites that are considered off l
imits or dangerous. A Web site can be placed on a
blacklist because it is a fraudulent operation or because it exploits browser vulnerabilities to send spyware and
other unwanted software to the user.

Block Level Analysis

A method used to break a page down into multiple points on the web graph by breaking its pages
down into smaller blocks.

Block level link analysis can be used to help determine if content is pag
e specific or part of a navigational
system. It also can help determine if a link is a natural
editorial link
, what other links that link should be
associated with, and/or
if it is an advertisement. Search engines generally do not want to count
advertisements as votes.


A periodically updated journal, typically formatted in reverse chronological order. Ma
ny blogs not only
archive and categorize information, but also provide a
and allow simple user interaction like
leaving comments on the posts.

Most blogs tend to be personal in nature. B
logs are generally quite authoritative with heavy link equity
because they give people a reason to frequently come back to their site, read their content, and link to
whatever they think is interesting.

The most popular blogging platforms are
Movable Type
, and

A website which presents content in a more or less chronological series. Content may or may not
be time sensitive. Most blogs us a Content Management System such as WordPress ra
ther than
individually crafted WebPages. Because of this, the Blogger can chose to concentrate on content
creation instead of arcane code.


A truncated form for

“web log.” A blog is a frequently updated journal that is intended for general public
nsumption. They usually represent the personality of the author or web site. A good source of blogging terms is
at [http://www.
] .

Blog Comment Spam

Either manually or automatically (via a software program) adding low value or no value comments to
other sites.

As time passes both manual and automated blog comment spam systems are evolving to look more
legitimate comments. I have seen some automated blog comment spam systems that have multiple fake
personas that converse with one another.


Blogger is a free
platform owned by

It allows you to publish sites on a subdomain off of, or to
content to your own domain.
you are serious about building a brand or making money online you should publish your content to
your own domain
because it can be hard to reclaim a website's
link equity
related trust if you have
built years of link equity into a subdomain on someone else's website.

Blogger is probably the easiest bloggin
g software tool to use, but it lacks many some features present in other
blog platforms.


Link list on a blog, usually linking to other blogs owned by the same company or fri
ends of that


A way to make words appear in a bolder font. Words that appear in a bolder font are more likely to be
read by humans that are scanning a page. A search engine may a
lso place slightly greater weighting
on these words than regular text, but if you write natural page copy and a word or phrase appears on
a page many times it probably does not make sense or look natural if you bold ever occurrence.


come with the ability to bookmark your favorite pages. Many web based services have
also been created to allow
you to bookmark and share your favorite resources. The popularity of a
document (as measured in terms of link equity, number of bookmarks, or usage data) is a signal for
the quality of the information. Some search engines may eventually use bookmarks to he
lp aid their
search relevancy.

Social bookmarking sites are often called tagging sites.
is the most popular social bookmarking
site. Yahoo! MyWeb also allows you to tag
results. Google allows you to share feeds and / or tag pages. They
also have a program called Google Notebook which allows you to write mini guides of related links and

There are also a couple meta news sites that allow you to tag interesting
pages. If enough people vote for
your story then your story gets featured on the homepage.
is a tech news site primarily driven by
central editors.
created a site covering the same type of news, but is a bottoms up news site which
allows readers to vote for what they think is interesting.
cloned the Digg business model and content
model. Sites like Digg and Netscape are easy sources of links if you can create content that would appeal to
those audiences.

Many forms of vertical search, like Google Video or
, allow you to tag content.

Boolean Search

Many search engines allow you to perform searches that contain mathematical
formulas such as AND,
OR, or NOT. By default most search engines include AND with your query, requiring results to be
relevant for all the words in your query.

Some search engines also allow you to search for other unique patterns or filtering ideas.

(robot, spider, crawler) A program which performs a task more or less autonomously. Search
engines use bots to find and add web pages to their search indexes. Spammers often use bots to “scrape”
content for the purpose of plagiarizing it for exploitation
by the Spammer.

bounce rate
The percentage of users who enter a site and then leave it without viewing any other pages.


The emotional response associated with your company and/or produ

A brand is built through controlling customer expectations and the social interactions between customers.
Building a brand is what allows you to move away from commodity based pricing and move toward higher
margin value based pricing.


er or user experience represented by images and ideas, often referring to a symbol (name, logo,
symbols, fonts, colors), a slogan and a design scheme. Brand recognition and other reactions are created by the
accumulation of experiences with the specific pr
oduct or service, both from its use, and as influenced by
advertising, design and media commentary.

Brand is often developed to represent implicit values, ideas and
even personality.
Source: Wikipedia

Brand and Branding

“A brand is a customer experience
represented by a collection of images and ideas;
often, it refers to a symbol such as a name, logo, slogan, and design scheme. Brand recognition and other
reactions are created by the accumulation of experiences with the specific product or service, both
relating to its use, and through the influence of advertising, design, and media commentary.”

(Added Definition)
“A brand often includes an explicit logo, fonts, color schemes, symbols, sound which may be developed to
represent implicit values, i
deas, and even personality.”
Source: Wikipedia



A measurable increase in consumer recall for a specific, branded company, product or service. For
example, brand lift might show an increase in respondents who think of Dell for computers, or WalM
art for “every
household thing.”

Brand Messaging

Creative messaging that presents and maintains a consistent corporate image across all
media channels, including search.

Brand Reputation

The position a company brand occupies.

Branding Strategy

The at
tempt to develop a strong brand reputation on the web to increase brand recognition
and create a significant volume of impressions.

Bridge Page

Often used to describe the web pages that linked together many doorway pages on a web site.
Also see:
Hallway Page.

Branded Keywords

Keywords or keyword phrases associated with a
. Typically br
anded keywords occur late in the
buying cycle
, and are some of the highest value and highest converting keywords.

Some affiliate marketing programs prevent affiliates from bid
ding on the core brand related keywords, while
others actively encourage it. Either way can work depending on your business model and marketing savvy,
but it is important to ensure there is synergy between internal marketing and affiliate marketing program

Breadcrumb Navigation

Navigational technique used to help search engines and website users understand the relationship
between pages.

Whatever page the us
er is on is unlinked, but the pages above it within the site structure are linked to, and
organized starting with the home page, right on down through the site structure.

bread crumbs
Web site navigation in a horizontal bar above the main content which he
lps the user to
understand where they are on the site and how to get back to the root areas.

Broken Link

A hyperlink which is not functioning. A link which does not lead to the d
esired location.

Links may broken for a number of reason, but four of the most common reasons are

a website going offline

linking to content which is temporary in nature (due to licensing structures or other reasons)

moving a page's location

a domain's content management system

Most large websites have some broken links, but if too many of a site's links are broken it may be an
indication of outdated content, and it may provide website users with a poor user experience. Both of which
may cause
search engines to rank a page as being less relevant.

Xenu Link Sleuth
is a free software program which crawls websites to find broken links.


Client used to view the world wide web.

The most popular browsers are
Microsoft's Internet Explorer
Mozilla's Firefox
, and


An associative grouping for related concepts, keywords, behaviors and
audience characteristics
associated with your company's product or service. A “virtual container” of similar concepts used to develop PPC
keywords, focus ad campaigns and target messages.

A well trusted
of business websites and information. is also a large
pay per


Buying Cycle

Before making large purchases consumers typical
ly research what brands and products fit their needs
and wants.
based search marketing allows you to reach consumers at any point in the buying
cycle. In many markets
branded keywords
tend to have high search volumes and high conversion

The buying cycle may consist of the following stages

Problem Discovery:
prospect discovers a need or

after discovering a problem look for ways to solve the need or want. These searches may
contain words which revolve around the core problem the prospect is trying to solve or words
associated with their identity.

may do comparison
searches to compare different models, and also search for negative
information like
product sucks
, etc.

look for information which reinforces your view of product or service you decided upon

may search for shipping related information
or other price related searches. purchases
may also occur offline

some people leave feedback on their purchases . If a person is enthusiastic about your
brand they may cut your marketing costs by providing free highly trusted word of mouth mar



Also called the
Buying Cycle
Buyer Decision Cycle
Sales Cycle
, Buying Funnel refers to a
step process of a consumer’s path to purchase a product

from awareness to education to preferences and
intent to final purchase.

uzz Monitoring Services

Services that will email a client regarding their status in an industry. Most buzz or
publicity monitoring services will email anytime a company’s name, executives, products, services or other
based information on them are
mentioned on the web.

Some services charge a fee; others, such as
Yahoo! and Google Alerts, are free.



Topics popular in the media and with specific audiences that receive news coverage or
pass along recommendations that help increase
exposure for a brand. Ways to uncover potential buzz
opportunities include reviewing incoming traffic to a web site from organic links and developing new keywords to
reach those visitors, or scanning special interest blogs and social media sites to learn
what new topics attract
rising interest, also to develop new keywords and messages.



Copy of a web page stored by a search engine. When you search the web you are not actively
ing the whole web, but are searching files in the search engine

Some search engines provide links to cached versions of pages in their search results, and allow you to strip
some of
the formatting from cached copies of pages.



Planning and executing a paid search campaign concurrently with other marketing
initiatives, online or offline, or both. More than simply launching simultaneous campaigns, true paid search

integration takes all marketing initiatives into consideration prior to launch, such as consistent messaging and
image, driving offline conversions, supporting brand awareness, increasing response rates and contributing to
ROI business goals.

canonical is
(duplicate content) canon = legitimate or official version
It is often nearly impossible
to avoid duplicate content, especially with CMSs like Wordpress, but also due to the fact that,, and are supposedly
seen as dupes by the SEs

although it’s a bit hard to believe they aren’t more sophisticated than that. However these issues can be
dealt with effectively in several ways including
using the noindex meta tag in the non
copies, and 301 server
redirects to the canon.

Canonical URL

Many content management systems are configured with errors which cause duplicate or exceptionally
similar content to get indexed under m
ultiple URLs. Many webmasters use inconsistent link structures
throughout their site that cause the exact same content to get indexed under multiple URLs. The
canonical version of any URL is the single most authoritative version indexed by major search eng
Search engines typically use
or a similar measure to determine which version of a URL is
the canonical URL.

Webmasters should use consistent linking structures througho
ut their sites to ensure that they funnel the
maximum amount of PageRank at the URLs they want indexed. When linking to the root level of a site or a
folder index it is best to end the link location at a / instead of placing the index.html or default.asp f
ilename in
the URL.


The process of picking the best URL when there are several choices; this usually refers to
home pages.
Source: Matt Cutts Blog: SEO Advice.
In addition, “Canonicalization is the process of converting
data that has mo
re than one possible representation into a "standard" canonical representation. This can be done
to compare different representations for equivalence, to count the number of distinct data structures (e.g., in
combinatorics), to improve the efficiency of va
rious algorithms by eliminating repeated calculations, or to make it
possible to impose a meaningful sorting order.”
Source: Wikipedia

Cascading Style Sheets or CSS

An addition to your HTML, a web site’s “cascading style sheet” contains
information on pa
ragraph layout, font sizes, colors, etc. A cascading style sheet has many uses as far as search
engine optimization and web site design are concerned.


Catch All Listing

A listing used by pay per click search engines to monetize
long tail
terms that are not yet targeted by
ters. This technique may be valuable if you have very competitive key words, but is not ideal
since most major search engines have editorial guidelines that prevent bulk untargeted advertising,
and most of the places that allow catch all listings have low
traffic quality. Catch all listings may be an
attractive idea on theme specific search engines and directories though, as they are already pre
qualified clicks.


Common Gateway Interface
terface software between a web server and other machines or
software running on that server. Many cgi programs are used to add interactivity to a web site.

Click Bot

A program generally used to artificially click on paid listings within the engines in or
der to artificially
inflate click amounts.

click fraud
Improper clicks on a PPC advertisement usually by the publisher or his minions for the
purpose of undeserved profit. Click fraud is a huge issue for add agencies like Google, because it lowers
er confidence that they will get fair value for their add spend.

Click Fraud

Clicks on a Pay
Click advertisement that are motivated by something other than a search for
the advertised product or service. Click fraud may be the result of malicious or
negative competitor/affiliate actions
motivated by the desire to increase costs for a competing advertiser or to garner click
through costs for the
collaborating affiliate. Also affects search engine results by diluting the quality of clicks.

Click Through

When a user clicks on a hypertext link and is taken to the destination of that link

Click Through Rate

The percentage of those clicking on a link out of the total number who see the link. For
example, imagine 10 people do a web search. In response, th
ey see links to a variety of web pages. Three of the
10 people all choose one particular link. That link then has a 30 percent click
through rate. Also called

Source: Webmaster World Forums


A program, computer, or process which makes information requests to another computer, process, or

side Tracking

side tracking entails the process of tagging every page that requires tracking on the
Web site with a blo
ck of JavaScript code. This method is cookie based (available as first or third party cookies)
and is readily available to companies who do not own or manage their own servers.

The practice of delivering different content to the search engine spider
than that seen by the
human users. This Black Hat tactic is frowned upon by the search engines and caries a virtual death
penalty of the site/domain being banned from the search engine results.


Displaying different content to search engines and searchers. Depending on the intent of the display
discrepancy and the strength of the brand of the person / company cloaking it may be considered
reasonable or it may get a site banned f
rom a search engine.

Cloaking has many legitimate uses which are within search guidelines. For example, changing user experience
based on location is common on many popular websites.

The process by which a web site can display different version
s of a web page under different
circumstances. It is primarily used to show an optimized or a content
rich page to the search engines and a
different page to humans. Most major search engine representatives have publicly stated that they do not approve
this practice.


In search results the listings from any individual site are typically limited to a certain number and
grouped together to make the search results appear n
eat and organized and to ensure diversity
amongst the top ranked results. Clustering can also refer to a technique which allows search engines
to group
on a specific topic together to further enhance their value by showing
their relationships.

Google Touchgraph

interesting web applic
ation that shows the relationship between sites Google
returns as being related to a site you enter.


Content Management System.
Tool used to help make it easy to update and add information
to a

Blog software programs
are some of the most popular content management systems currently used on the
web. Many content management systems have errors associated with them which
make it hard for search
engines to index content due to issues such as
duplicate content

Content Management System
Programs such as Wordpress, which separate
most of the mundane
Webmaster tasks from content creation so that a publisher can be effective without acquiring or even
understanding sophisticated coding skills if they so chose.


Acronym for Cost of Acquisition, which is how much it costs to acquir
e a conversion (desired action), such
as a sale.


In topical
based search algor
ithms links which appear near one another on a page may be
deemed to be related to one another. In algorithms like
latent semantic indexing
words which appear
near one another often are frequent
ly deemed to be related.

code swapping
(bait and switch) Changing the content after high rankings are achieved.


The text contained within a “comment” tag in a web page. “Comments” are used in a variety of
situations, such as communication betwee
n web developers and Cascading Style Sheets (See Above).

comment spam
Posting blog comments for the purpose of generating an inlink to another site. The
reason many blogs use link condoms.


Many blogs and other content management systems allow readers to leave user feedback.

Leaving enlightening and thoughtful comments on someone else's related website is one way to help get them
to notice you.

Comments Tag

Some web developers also place comments in the source code of their work to help make it easy for
people to understand the code.

HTML comments in the source code of a document appear as
ur comment here
. They can be
viewed if someone types views the source code of a document, but do not appear in the regular formatted
HTML rendered version of a document.

In the past some SEOs would stuff keywords in comment tags to help increase the p
keyword density
, but
search has evolved beyond that stage, and at this point using comments to stuff keywords into a page adds to
your risk profile and presents littl
e ranking upside potential.

Compacted Information

Information which is generally and widely associated with a product. For example, most published
books have
an ISBN.

As the number of product databases online increases and duplicate content filters are forced to get more
aggressive the keys to getting your information indexed are to have a site with enough authority to be
considered the most important documen
t on that topic, or to have enough non compacted information (for
example, user reviews) on your product level pages to make them be seen as unique documents.

Competitive Analysis

As used in SEO, CA is the assessment and analysis of strengths and weakne
sses of
competing web sites, including identifying traffic patterns, major traffic sources, and keyword selection.

Concept Search

A search which attempts to conceptually m
atch results with the query, not necessarily with those
words, rather their concept.

For example, if a search engine understands a phrase to be related to another word or phrase it may return
results relevant to that other word or phrase even if the words
you searched for are not directly associated
with a result. In addition, some search engines will place various types of
vertical search
results at the top of
the search
results based on implied query related intent or prior search patterns by you or other searchers.

Conceptual Links

Links which search engines attempt to understand bey
ond just the words in them. Some rather
advanced search engines are attempting to find out the concept links versus just matching the words
of the text to that specific word set. Some search algorithms may even look at
and words
near the link instead of just focusing on
anchor text

Consumer Generated Media (CGM)

Refers to posts made by c
onsumers to support or oppose products, web
sites, or companies, which are very powerful when it comes to company image. It can reach a large audience
and, therefore, may change your business overnight.

(text, copy) The part of a web page that is
intended to have value for and be of interest to the
user. Advertising, navigation, branding and boilerplate are not usually considered to be content.

Content Management Systems (CMS)

In computing, a content management system (CMS) is a document
collaborative application for managing documents and other content. A CMS is often a web application
and often it is used as a method of managing web sites and web content. The market for content management
systems remains fragmented, with many open source
and proprietary solutions available. Source:

Content Network

Also called
Contextual Networks
, content networks include Google and Yahoo! Contextual
Search networks that serve paid search ads triggered by keywords related to the page conten
t a user is viewing.

Content Targeting

An ad serving process in Google and Yahoo! that displays keyword triggered ads related to
the content or subject (context) of the web site a user is viewing. Contrast to search network serves, in which an
ad is disp
layed when a user types a keyword into the search box of a search engine or one of its partner sites.

Contextual Advertising

Advertising programs which gene
rate relevant advertisements based on the content of a webpage.

Google AdSense
is the most popular contextual advertising program.

Contextual Advertising

Advertising that is automatica
lly served or placed on a web page based on the page’s
content, keywords and phrases. Contrast to a SERP (search engine result page) ad display. For example,
contextual ads for digital cameras would be shown on a page with an article about photography, not
because the
user entered “digital cameras” in a search box.

contextual advertisement
Advertising which is related to the content.

Contextual Distribution

The marketing decision to display search ads on certain publisher sites across the
web instead of,
or in addition to, placing PPC ads on search networks.

Contextual Network

Also called
Content Ads
Content Network
contextual network ads are served on web
site pages adjacent to content that contains the keywords being bid upon. Contextual ads are s
omewhat like
traditional display ads placed in print media and, like traditional ad buys, are often purchased on the same CPM
(cost per thousand impressions) model for purchased keywords, rather than a CPC basis

Contextual Search

A search that analyzes t
he page being viewed by a user and gives a list of related search
results. Offered by Yahoo! and Google.

Contextual Search Campaigns

A paid placement search campaign that takes a search ad listing beyond
search engine results pages and onto the sites of
matched content web partners.


Many forms of online advertising are easy to track. A conversion is reached when a desired goal is

Most offline ads have general
ly been much harder to track than online ads. Some marketers use custom
phone numbers or coupon codes to tie offline activity to online marketing.

Bid management
tracking, and
programs make it easy to track conversion sources.

Google Conversion University

free conversion tracking information

Google Website Optimizer

free multi variable testing product
offered by Google.

(goal) Achievement of a quantifiable goal on a website. Add clicks, sign ups, and sales are
examples of conversions.

Conversion Action

The desired action you want a visitor to take on your site. Includes purchase, subscrip
to the company newsletter, request for follow
up or more information (lead generation), download of a company
free offer (research results, a video or a tool), subscription to company updates and news.

conversion rate
Percentage of users who convert
see conversion.

Conversion Rate
Conversion rates are measurements that determine how many of your prospects perform the
prescribed or desired action step. If your prescribed response is for a visitor to sign up for a newsletter, and you
had 100 visitors
and 1 newsletter signup, then your conversion rate would be 1%. Typically, micro
(for instance, reading different pages on your site) lead to your main conversion step (making a purchase, or
signing up for a service).

Conversion Rate

The num
ber of visitors who convert (take a desired action at your site) after clicking through
on your ad, divided by the total number of click
throughs to your site for that ad. (Expressed as: total click
throughs that convert / total click
throughs for that ad
= conversion rate.) For example, if an ad brings in 150 click
throughs and 6 of the 150 clicks result in a desired conversion, then the conversion rate is 4% (6 / 150 = 0.04).
Higher conversion rates generally translate into more successful PPC campaigns w
ith a better ROI.


The legal rights to publish and reproduce a particular piece of work.


Protection and ownership of works or expressions fixed in a tangible fo
rm, including words, art,
images, sounds, and music. Copyright gives the owner the exclusive right to copy, display, license, or expand the
work. Copyrights cover virtually any original expression; and the protection arises under common law as soon as
original expression is created (fixed in tangible form). However, proving ownership of the original expression
may be difficult legally, unless the work was displayed or used publicly at a verifiable point in time.


Small data file written to a user's local machine to track them. Cookies are used to help websites
customize your user experience and help affiliate program managers track conversions.


Cost per action.
The effectiveness of many other forms of online advertising have their effectiveness
measured on a cost per action basis. Many
affiliate marketing
programs and
contextual ads
structured on a cost per action basis. An action may be anything from an ad click, to fillin
g out a lead
form, to buying a product.


Acronym for Cost Per Acquisition (sometimes called Cost Per Action), which is the total cost of an ad
campaign divided by the number of conversions. For example, if a campaign cost $100 and resulted in 5
rsions, the CPA is $20 ($100 / 5). It cost $20 to generate one conversion.

CPA or “Cost Per Acquisition”

Also referred to as “Cost Per Action.” This is a metric used to measure the
total monetary cost of each sale, lead or action from start to finish.


Cost per click.
Many search ads and contextually targeted ads are sold in auctions where the
advertiser is charged a certain price per click.

Google AdWords

Google's pay per click ad program which allows you to buy search and contextual

Google AdSense

Google's contextual ad program.

Microsoft AdCenter

Microsoft's pay per click ad platform.

Yahoo! Search Marketing

Yahoo!'s pay per click ad platform

Cost Pe
r Click
the rate that is paid per click for a Pay Per Click Advertiser


Acronym for Cost Per Click, or the amount search engines charge advertisers for every click that sends a
searcher to the advertiser’s web site. For an advertiser, CPC is the tot
al cost for each click
through received when
its ad is clicked on.


or “Cost Per Click”

Some search engines charge advertisers a cost for every click sent to their web site.
The “CPC” is the total cost for each click received.


Cost per thousand ad impressions.

Many people use CPM as a measure of how profitable a website is or has the potential of becoming.

(Cost Per Thousand impressions) A statistical metric used to quantify the av
erage value / cost of
Pay Per Click advertisements. M
from the Roman numeral for one thousand.


Acronym for Cost Per Thousand Impressions (ad serves or potential viewers). Compare to CPC pricing
(defined above). CPM is a standard monetization model
for offline display ad space, as well as for some context
based networks serving online search ads to, for example, web publishers and sites.

CPM or “Cost Per Thousand”

A unit of measure typically assigned to the cost of displaying an ad. If an ad
s on a web page 1,000 times and costs $5, then the CPM would be $5. In this instance, every 1,000 times
an ad appeared, it would incur a charge of $5.


Acronym for Cost Per Order. The dollar amount of advertising or marketing necessary to acquire an o
Calculated by dividing marketing expenses by the number of orders. Also referred to as CPA (Cost Per

Crawl Depth

How deeply a website is crawled and indexed.

Since searches which are longer in nature tend to be more targeted in nature it is important to try to get most
or all of a site indexed such that the deeper pages have the ability to rank for relevant long tail keywords. A
large site needs adequate
link equity
to get deeply indexed. Another thing which may prevent a site from
being fully indexed is
duplicate content

Crawl Frequency

How frequently a website is crawled.

Sites which are well trusted or frequently updated may be crawled more frequentl
y than sites with low trust
scores and limited link authority. Sites with highly artificial link authority scores (ie: mostly low quality
spammy links) or sites which are heavy in duplicate content or near duplicate content (such as affiliate feed
sites) m
ay be crawled less frequently than sites with unique content which are well integrated into the web.

(bot, spider) A program which moves through the worldwide web or a website by way of the
link structure to gather data.


Automated progra
ms in search engines that gather web site listings by automatically crawling the web.
A search engine's crawler (also called a spider or robot) “reads” page text contents and web page coding, and
also follows links to other hyperlinked pages on the web pag
es it crawls. A crawler makes copies of the web
pages found and stores these in the search engine's index, or database.

: Also known as a
, a crawler is a program that search engines use to seek out information
on the web. The act of “
crawling” on a web site is referred to when the crawler begins to search through
documents contained within the web site. Also see


Unique words, design and display of a paid
space advertisement. In paid search advertising, creative
s to the ad’s title (headline), description (text offer) and display URL (clickable link to advertiser’s web site
landing page). Unique creative display includes word emphasis (boldfaced, italicized, in quotes), typeface style
and, on some sites, added gra
phic images, logos, animation or video clips.


Cascading Style Sheets
is a method for adding styles to web documents.

Note: Using external CSS files makes it easy to change the design of man
y pages by editing a single file. You
can link to an external CSS file using code similar to the following in the head of your HTML documents

<link rel="stylesheet" href="" type="text/css" />


Clickthrough rate

the percentage of people who view click on an advertisement they viewed, which
is a way to measure how relevant a traffic source or keyword is. Search ads typically have a higher
clickthrough ra
te than traditional banner ads due to being highly relevant to implied searcher demand.


Acronym for Click
Through Rate, the number of clicks that an ad gets, divided by the total number of times
that ad is displayed or served. (Represented as: total
clicks / total impressions for a specific ad = CTR). For
example, if an ad has 100 impressions and 6 clicks, the CTR is 6%. The higher the CTR, the more visitors your
site is receiving; CTR also factors into you advertiser search engine Quality Score and,
therefore, your minimum
keyword bids on Tier I engines.

Custom Feed

Create custom feeds for each of the shopping engines that allow you to submit XML feeds. Each
of the engines has different product categories and feed requirements.


Registering domains related to other trademarks or brands in an attempt to cash in on the value
created by said trademark or brand.



Turning ad campaigns on or off, changing ad bid price, or budget constraints based on bidding more
when your target audience is available and less when they are less likely to be available.


The ab
ility to specify different times of day

or day of week

for ad displays, as a way to target
searchers more specifically. An option that limits serves of specified ads based on day and time factors.

Dead Link

A link which is no longer functional.

Most large high quality websites have at least a few dead links in them, but the ratio of good links to dead
links can be seen as a sign of information quality.

Deep Link

A link which points to an internal page within a website.

When links grow naturally typically most high quality websites have many links pointing at interior pages.
When you request links from other
websites it makes sense to request a link from their most targeted relevant
page to your most targeted relevant page. Some webmasters even create content based on easy linking
opportunities they think up.

Deep Linking

Linking that guides, directs and l
inks a click
through searcher (or a search engine crawler) to a
very specific and relevant product or category web page from search terms and PPC ads.

Dedicated Server

Server which is limited to serving one website or a small collection of websites owned by a single

Dedicated servers tend to be more reliable than shared (or virtual) servers. Dedicated servers usually run
from $100 to $500 a month.
Virtual servers
typically run from $5 to $50 per month.

Deep Link Ratio

The ratio of links pointing
to internal pages to overall links pointing at a website.

A high deep link ratio is typically a sign of a legitimate natural link profile.


Temporarily or permanently
becoming de
indexed from a directory or search engine.

indexing may be due to any of the following:

Pages on new websites (or sites with limited link authority relative to their size) may be temporarily
indexed until the search engine does a deep sp
idering and re
cache of the web.

During some updates search engines readjust crawl priorities.

You need a significant number of high quality links to get a large website well indexed and
keep it well indexed.

Duplicate content
filters, inbound and outbound link quality, or other information quality
related issues may also relate to re
adjusted crawl priorities.

Pages which have changed location and are not properly
redirected, or pages which are down when a
search engine tries to crawl them may be temporarily de

Search Spam:

If a website tripped an automatic spam filter it may return to the search index anywhere from
a few days to a few months after the pro
blem has been fixed.

If a website is editorially removed by a human you may need to contact the search engine
directly to request reinclusion.

Popular social bookmarking


Statistical data or characteristics which define segments of a population.

Some internet marketing platforms, such as
, allow you to target ads at websites or
searchers who fit amongst a specific demographic. Some common demographic data points are
gender, age,
income, education, location, etc.


Directories and search engines provide a short description near each listing which aims to add context
to the

High quality directories typically prefer the description describes what the site is about rather than something
that is overtly promotional in nature. Search engines typically

use a descri
ption from a trusted directory (such as
or the
Yahoo! Directory
) for homepages of
sites listed in tho
se directories

use the page
meta description
(especially if it is relevant to the search query and has the words from
the search query in it)

attempt to extract a des
cription from the page content which is relevant for the particular search
query and ranking page (this is called a snippet)

or some combination of the above

Description Tag
Refers to the information contained in the description META tag. This tag is m
eant to hold the
brief description of the web page it is included on. The information contained in this tag is generally the
description displayed immediately after the main link on many search engine result pages.


Stands for Dynamic Hypertext Mark
up Language.


Social news site where users vote on which stories get the most exposure and become the most


A categorized catalog of websites, typically manually organized by topical editorial experts.

Some directories cater to specific
topics, while others are more comprehensiv
e in nature. Major search
engines likely place significant weight on links from
and the
Yahoo! Directo
. Smaller and less
established general directories likely pull less weight. If a directory does not exercise editorial control over
listings search engines will not be likely to trust their links at all.

A site devoted to directory pages. The
Yahoo directory is an example.

directory page
A page of links to related WebPages.

Directory Search

Also known as a
search directory
. Refers to a directory of web sites contained in an engine
that are categorized into topics. The main difference between
a search directory and a search engine is in how
the listings are obtained. A search directory relies on user input in order to categorize and include a web site.
Additionally, a directory usually only includes higher
level pages of a domain.



The web page URL that one actually sees in a PPC text ad. Display URL usually appears as the
last line in the ad; it may be a simplified path for the longer actual URL, which is not visible.

Distribution Network

A network of web sites (content publishe
rs, ISPs) or search engines and their partner
sites on which paid ads can be distributed. The network receives advertisements from the host search engine,
paid for with a CPC or CPM model. For example, Google’s advertising network includes not only the Goo
search site, but also searchers at AOL, Netscape and the
New York Post
online edition, among others.


Acronym for Dynamic Keyword Insertion, the insertion of the EXACT keywords a searcher included in his or
her search request in the returned ad ti
tle or description. As an advertiser, you have bid on a table or cluster of
these keyword variations, and DKI makes your ad listings more relevant to each searcher.


Acronym for Digital Millennium Copyright Act. “The Digital Millennium Copyright Act
(DMCA) is a United
States copyright law which….criminalizes production and dissemination of technology, devices, or services that
are used to circumvent measures that control access to copyrighted works (commonly known as DRM), and
criminalizes the act of
circumventing an access control, even when there is no infringement of copyright itself.
[Circumvention of controlled access includes unscrambling, copying, sharing, commercial recording or reverse
engineering copyrighted entertainment or software.] It als
o heightens the penalties for copyright infringement on
the Internet.”
Source: Wikipedia


The Open Directory Project
is the largest human edited directory of websites. DMOZ is owned by
, and is primarily ran by volunteer editors.


Domain Name Server
Domain Name System
. A naming scheme mechanism used to help
resolve a domain name / host name to a specific TCP/
IP Address


Scheme used for logical or location organization of the web. Many people also use the word domain to
fer to a specific website.


Refers to a specific web site address.

(gateway) A web page that is designed specifically to attract traffic from a search engine. A
doorway page which redirects users (but not spiders) to another site or page i
s implementing cloaking.

Doorway Page

A web page specifically created in order to obtain rankings within the natural listings of a search
engine. These pages generally are filled with keywords and are meant to funnel surfers into the main web site.
practice is generally considered an outdated spam tactic. This term is not to be confused with a “landing

Doorway Pages

Pages designed to rank for highly targeted sea
rch queries, typically designed to redirect searchers to a
page with other advertisements.

Some webmasters
thousands of doorway pages on trusted domains, and rake in a boatload
of cash until
they are caught and
. If the page would have a unique purpose outside of search then search engines
are generally fine with it, but if the page only exists b
ecause search engines exist then search engines are
more likely to frown on the behavior.


Popular web development and editing software offering a what you see is what
you get interface.

Duplicate Content

Content which is duplicate or near duplicate in nature.

Search engines do not want to index multiple versions of similar conte
nt. For example, printer friendly pages
may be search engine unfriendly duplicates. Also, many automated content generation techniques rely on
recycling content, so some search engines are somewhat strict in filtering out content they deem to be similar
nearly duplicate in nature.

duplicate content
Obviously content which is similar or identical to that found on another website or
page. A site may not be penalized for serving duplicate content but it will receive little if any Trust from
the search engi
nes compared to the content that the SE considers being the original.

Dynamic Content

Content which changes over time or uses a dynamic language such as
to help render the page.

In the past search engines were less aggressive at indexing dynamic content than they currently are. While
they have greatly improved their ability to index dynamic content it is sti
ll preferable to use
URL rewriting
help make dynamic content look
in nature.

Dynamic Landing Pages

Dynamic landing pages are web pages to which click
through searchers are sent that
generate changeable (not static) pages with content specifically relevant to the keyword search. For example, if a
user is looking for
, then a dynamic landing page w
ith information and pictures on multiple models and,
possibly, geographically localized dealerships might be served. The term
would trigger a data dump into a
web site template for all possible vehicles, that serves all truck
related information.

Dynamic Languages

Programming languages such as
which build web pages on the fly upon request.

Dynamic Text (Insertion)

This is text, a keyword or ad copy that customizes search ads returned to a searcher
by using parameters to insert the desired text somewhere in the title or ad. When
the search query (for example,
“hybrid cars”) matches the defined parameter (for example, all brands of electric/gasoline passenger cars AND
SUVs), then the associated term (hybrid) is plugged into the ad. Dynamic insertion makes the ad mirror exact
used in the search query, creating very relevant ads. See also
DKI (Dynamic Keyword Insertion)


Earnings Per Click

contextual advertising
publishers estimate their potential earnings based on how much they
make from each click.

ecommerce site
A website devoted to retail sales.

Conducting commercial
transactions on the internet where goods, information or services are
bought and sold.


Acronym for Effective Cost Per Thousand, a hybrid Cost
Click (CPC) auction calculated by
multiplying the CPC times the click
through rate (CTR), and multiply
ing that by one thousand. (Represented by:
(CPC x CTR) x 1000 = eCPM.) This monetization model is used by Google to rank site
targeted CPM ads (in the
Google content network) against keyword
targeted CPC ads (Google AdWords PPC) in their hybrid auction.

Editorial Link

Search engines count links as votes of quality. They primarily want to count editorial links that were
earned over links that were bought or bartered.

Many pa
id links, such as those from quality
, still count as signs of votes as long as they are also
associated with editorial quality standards. If they are from sites without e
ditorial control, like
link farms
, they
are not likely to help you rank well. Using an algorithm similar to
, some search engines may place
more trust on well known sites with strong editorial guidelines.

Editorial Review Process

A review process for potential advertiser listings conducted by search engines,
which check to ensure relevancy and comp
liance with the engine’s editorial policy. This process could be

using a spider to crawl ads

or it could be human editorial ad review. Sometimes it’s a combination
of both. Not all PPC Search Engines review listings.


An HTML tag used to emphasize text.

Please note that it is more important that copy reads well to humans than any boost you may think you will
get by tweaking it for bots. If every occurrence of a ke
yword on a page is in emphasis that will make the page
hard to read, convert poorly, and may look weird to search engines and users alike.

<em>emphasis</em> would appear as

Entry Page

The page which a user enters your site.

If you are buying pay per click ads it is important to send visitors to the most appropriate and targeted page
associated with the keyword they searched for. If you are doing link building it is import
ant to point links at
your most appropriate page when possible such that

if anyone clicks the link they are sent to the most appropriate and relevant page

you help search engines understand what the pages on your site are associated with

Entry Page

fers to any page within a web site that a user employs to “enter” your web site. Also see

Ethical SEO

Search engines like to paint SEO services which manipulate the
ir relevancy algorithms as being
unethical. Any particular technique is generally not typically associated with ethics, but is either
effective or ineffective.

Some search marketers lacking in creativity tend to describe services sold by others as being u
nethical while
their own services are ethical. Any particular technique is generally not typically associated with ethics, but is
either effective or ineffective.

The only ethics issues associated with SEO are generally business ethics related issues. Two
of the bigger
frauds are

Not disclosing risks:
Some SEOs may use high risk techniques when they are not needed. Some
may make that situation even worse by not disclosing potential risks to clients.

Taking money & doing nothing:
Since selling SEO services
has almost no start up costs many of
the people selling services may not actually know how to competently provide them. Some shady
people claim to be SEOs and bilk money out of unsuspecting small businesses.

As long as the client is aware of potential ri
sks there is nothing unethical about being aggressive.


Major search indexes are constantly updating. Google refers to this continuous refresh as everflux.

In the past Google
updated their index roughly once a month. Those updates were named Google Dances, but
since Google shifted to a constantly updating index Google no longer does what was traditionally called a
Google Dance

Expert Document

Quality page which links to many non
affiliated topical resources.

External Link

Link which references another domain.

Some people believe in
link hoarding
, but linking out to other related resources is a good way
to help search
engines understand what your site is about. If you link out to lots of low quality sites or primarily rely on low
quality reciprocal links some search engines may not rank your site very well. Search engines are more likely
to trust
high quality

editorial links
(both to and from your site).

Eye Tracking Studies

Studies by Googl
e, Marketing Sherpa and Poynter Institute using Eyetools technology to
track the eye movements of web page readers, in order to understand reading and click
through patterns.


Fair Us

The stated exceptions of allowed usage of work under
without requiring permission of the
original copyright holder. Fair use is covered in section 107 of the Copyright c


Stands for “Frequently Asked Questions.”


Favorites Icon
is a small icon which appears next to URLs in a web browser.

Upload an image named favicon.ico in the root of y
our site to have your site associated with a favicon.



Many content management, systems
such as blogs, allow readers to subscribe to content update
notifications via
feeds. Feeds can also refer to pay per cli
ck syndicated feeds, or merchant
product feeds. Merchant product feeds have become less effective as a means of content generation
due to improving
duplicate content


Content which is delivered to the user via special websites or programs such as news aggregators.


A web document that is a shortened or updated (revised content only) version of a web page created for
syndication. Usually served at us
er request, through subscription; also includes ad feeds to shopping engines and
inclusion ad models. Ad feeds are usually in Extensible Markup Language (XML) or Rich Site Summary
(RSS) format.

Feed Reader

Software or website used to subscribe to feed update notifications.


popular web based feed reader

Google Reader

popular w
eb based feed reader

My Yahoo!

allows you to subscribe to feed updates


desktop based feed reader


Free for all
pages are pages which allow anyone to add a link to them. Generally these links do not
pull much weight in search relevancy algorithms because many automated programs fill these pages
with links pointing at low quality websites.

(Free Fo
r All) A page or site with many outgoing links to unrelated websites, containing little if
any unique content. Link farms are only intended for spiders, and have little if any value to human users,
and thus are ignored or penalized by the search engines.


Stands for “Free for All” link pages. These are not search engines or directories. They are, for the most
part, pages that simply take URL submissions that usually stay active for a period of time. A submission is placed
at the top of their list and
then moved down, and eventually out, as other submissions are made. These are seen
as outdated and were used in an attempt to artificially inflate link popularity.


Certain activiti
es or signatures which make a page or site appear unnatural might make search
engines inclined to filter / remove them out of the search results.

For example, if a site publishes significant
duplicate content
it may get a reduced crawl priority and get
filtered out of the search results. Some search engines also have filters based on link quality, link growth rate,
anchor text
. Some pages are also


Popular extensible open source web browser.


Vector graphics
based animation software which makes it easier to make websites look rich
interactive in nature.

Search engines tend to struggle indexing and ranking flash websites because flash typically contains so little
relevant content. If you use flash ensure:

you embed flash files within HTML pages

you use a noembed element to des
cribe what is in the flash

you publish your flash content in multiple separate files such that you can embed appropriate flash
files in relevant pages


“Flash technology has become a popular method for adding animation and interactivity to web pag
several software products, systems, and devices are able to create or display Flash. Flash is commonly used to
create animation, advertisements, various web page components, to integrate video into web pages, and more
recently, to develop rich internet
Source: Wikipedia

Forward Links
(see Outbound Links)


A technique created by
used to
display multiple smaller pages on a single display. This web
design technique allows for consistent site navigation, but makes it hard to deep link at relevant

Given the popularity of
server side includes
content management systems
, and
dynamic languages
really is no legitimate r
eason to use frames to build a content site today.

a web page design where two or more documents appear on the same screen, each within it’s
own frame. Frames are bad for SEO because spiders sometimes fail to correctly navigate them.
most users dislike frames because it is almost like having two tiny monitors neither of
which shows a full page of information at one time.


HTML technique that allows two or more pages to display in one browser window. Many search engines
had trou
ble indexing web sites that used frames, generally only seeing the contents of a single frame. See also
“No Frames.”

Fresh Content

Content which is dynamic in nature and give
s people a reason to keep paying attention to your

Many SEOs talk up fresh content, but fresh content does not generally mean re
editing old content. It more
often refers to creating new content. The primary advantages to fresh content are:

in and grow mindshare:
If you keep giving people a reason to pay attention to you more
and more people will pay attention to you, and link to your site.

Faster idea spreading:
If many people pay attention to your site, when you come out with good
ideas the
y will spread quickly.

Growing archives:
If you are a content producer then owning more content means you have more
chances to rank. If you keep building additional fresh content eventually that gives you a large catalog
of relevant content.

Frequent cra
Frequently updated websites are more likely to be crawled frequently.


File Transfer Protocol
is a protocol for transferring data between computers.

Many content management systems (
such as blogging platforms) include FTP capabilities. Web development
software such as Dreamweaver also comes with FTP capabilities. There are also a number of free or cheap FTP
programs such as Cute FTP, Core FTP, and Leech FTP.


Stands for “File
Transfer Protocol.”

Fuzzy Search

Search which will find matching terms when terms are misspelled (or fuzzy).

Fuzzy search technology is similar to
technology, with the exception that fuzzy search corrects the
misspellings at the users end and stemming searches for other versions of the same core word within the



Google Advertising Professional
is a program which qualifies marketers as being proficient

Google Advertising Professional program

gateway page
(doorway page) A web page that is designed to attract traffic from a search engine and
then redirect it to another site or page. A doorway page is not exactly the same
as cloaking but the effect
is the same in that users and search engines are served different content.

Gateway page

See Doorway Page.



The geographic location of the searcher. Geo
targeting allows you to specify where your
will or won’t be shown based on the searcher’s location, enabling more localized and personalized results.

(gadget, widget) small applications used on web pages to provide specific functions such as a hit
counter or IP address display. Gizmos ca
n make good link bait.


The world's leading search engine in terms of reach. Google pioneered search by analyzing linkage
data via
. Google was created by Stanford students Larry Page and Sergey Brin.


Google's search engine

Google has a shared crawl cache between their various spiders, including vertical search spiders and spiders
associated with ad targeting.

Google's crawl caching

Google’s spider program

Google AdSense

Google AdWords

Google Base

Free database of semantically structured information created by Google.

Google Base may also help Google better understand what types of information are commercial in nature, and
ow they should structure different vertical search products.

Google Base

Google bomb
The combined effort of multiple webmasters to change the Google search results usually
for humorous effect. The “miserable failur
George Bush, and “greatest living American”
Colbert Google bombs are famous examples.

Google Bombing

Making a pank rank well for a specific search query by po
inting hundreds or thousands of links at it
with the keywords in the
anchor text

Google Bowl

Knocking a competitor out of the search results by pointing hundreds or thousands of low trust low
quality links at their website.

Typically it is easier to bowl new sites out of the results. Older established sites are much harder to knock out
of th
e search results.

Google bowling
Maliciously trying to lower a sites rank by sending it links from the “bad
Kind of like yelling “Good luck with that infection!” to your buddy as you get off the
school bus
there is some controversy as to